Like many of you, some of my fondest memories and closest friendships were formed when I was in university. It's a time of growth, discovery and development that shapes the direction we take in life and the people we eventually become. So, every once in awhile, it's good to look back to reflect on where we've come from and the people and places that have meant so much.
That's why I'm so excited about the Class Champions program; an initiative designed to support alumni volunteers to act as class representatives who promote their class reunion, encouraging their former classmates to come back to campus to reunite, relive old memories and reconnect with the faculty they once called home.
Class Champions can also plan a special activity for their group and, if they wish, help their class leave a lasting legacy by leading a Class Giving Challenge to support the current and future students.
I invite you to read through the information below, check out the listing of current Class Champions and then, if you're up for the challenge (and fun!) of becoming a Class Champion for your program and year, sign up today.
I can't wait to hear from you!
Senior Alumni Advancement Officer, Faculty of Environment
BECOME A CLASS CHAMPION
The Faculty of Environment Class Champions Program enriches class reunions and deepens connections with alumni by supporting volunteers to act as class representatives who reach out to former classmates to encourage them to attend their milestone reunion of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 or 55 years!
If they wish, volunteers can also plan an ancillary reunion activity for their class and even champion a fundraising campaign to support future students through the Global Citizen Internships. Please note, these additional activities are completely optional.
Many hands make light work, so job sharing is encouraged! Consider recruiting some of your classmates to help.
Any graduate who received their degree from the Faculty of Environment in one of the celebrating graduation years can participate. For 2021, that’s 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971 and 1966.
Alumni Weekend 2021 will take place on Saturday, June 5
We’re in this together! My team and I will plan, organize and promote core Alumni Weekend activities. We’ll send the official invitations, host the website and also subsidize many of the costs. As a Class Champion, you’ll be responsible for helping to plan and promote your reunion, and if you elect to, champion your Class Giving Challenge. To do this, you’ll be asked to:
- Use the contact list provided to email and/or call your classmates and personally encourage them to attend Alumni Weekend. Leverage social media to help promote the event and spread the word.
- Work with your staff liaison to determine who else should be invited to your reunion (i.e. favourite professors, classmates who may have graduated a year earlier or later).
- Decide if you would like to plan a class-specific event (e.g. pub night or golf day)
- Act as a central contact for your classmates by letting us know your preferred contact information to add to the website and including it on the flyer.
- Participate in conference calls or in-person meetings with your staff liaison throughout the planning cycle.
- After Reunion, submit feedback and address corrections to your staff liaison.
CLASS REUNION GIVING CHALLENGE (OPTIONAL)
Through your collective efforts, your graduating class can leave a lasting legacy for future generations of environment students by contributing to the Global Citizen Internships.
The Global Citizen Internships provide the University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment students with hands-on, experiential education at the workplaces of our leading nonprofit partners.
It’s a triple-win: Students win because they learn to apply their knowledge in real-world settings, directly serving local communities while building critical leadership skills. The nonprofits win because they benefit from the creativity of Canada’s most talented and ambitious students. And society wins because these synergistic collaborations yield new solutions to our biggest environmental challenges.
For a combined gift of $10,000, your class can create one four-month internship at a partnered nonprofit organization, and help today’s students develop into tomorrow’s global citizens. A commitment of $30,000; or $10,000 per year for a minimum of three years, will provide a naming opportunity for the Global Citizen Internship you are supporting (i.e. the Class of ’90 Planners' Global Citizen Internship.)
All fundraising activities are coordinated and supported by the Faculty of Environment Advancement Office and processed through the University of Waterloo’s secure, online giving platform. Donations over $20 are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
ESTIMATED TIME COMMITMENT
The time commitment for completing Class Champion responsibilities will depend on what you choose to do, your class size and number of Class Champions enlisted. You could simply volunteer to reach out to former classmates or you could plan an activity and launch a fundraising campaign.
The following is an estimate for possible activities:
- Contacting classmates: 2 - 16 hours
- Planning a class-specific event: 2 - 4 hours (optional)
- Working with staff liaison to prepare dinner program: 1-2 hours
- Participating in meetings or conference calls: 2 – 4 hours
- Preparing/submitting feedback and updates: 1 - 2 hours
- Complete a survey after the reunion to give constructive feedback: 1-2 hours
- A list of electronic resources to help connect with former classmates
- Social media tips for promoting your reunion
- An overview of the Class Reunion Giving Challenge
- A survey to submit feedback after Reunion is complete
OUR COMMITMENT TO VOLUNTEERISM
Definition of a Volunteer
Advancement volunteers are supporters of the University or one of it’s Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo, who generously give their time and unique skill set for the purpose of advancing the University’s strategic objectives. Volunteer roles vary from one time opportunities (i.e. special events) to ongoing commitments of two to three years (i.e. advisory boards) and are available across the entire University.
Statement of Philosophy on Volunteer Engagement
The passion our volunteers have for Waterloo inspires their peers and assists in fostering pride and building meaningful lifelong relationships with the University. We are committed to providing these volunteers with rewarding opportunities and we strive to offer a supportive and empowering volunteer environment.
The Office of Advancement aspires to involve volunteers in all appropriate University programs. Our volunteers have extensive global networks and vast skill sets that make them valuable assets in our mission of engaging people to advance the strategic goals of the University of Waterloo.
Goals of Volunteer Engagement
- To provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for Waterloo alumni, donors and friends who wish to engage and strengthen their connection to the University.
- To empower volunteers and provide them with the tools and resources necessary to contribute in meaningful ways.
- To strengthen the connection between Waterloo students and volunteers; providing and enhancing opportunities for experiential learning, career development and mentorship.
Guideleines and Procedures
As a member of our team and a representative of the University, each of us within the Office of Advancement must commit to a set of policies and procedures that will protect you, your fellow alumni and supporters as well as the institution.
Code of Conduct
Office of Advancement volunteers:
- Understand the Environment Advancement mission.
- Recognize that volunteer commitment is an important responsibility.
- Embrace all Environment Advancement Volunteer Guidelines and Procedures.
- Advance the University of Waterloo as the first priority over other interests while volunteering.
- Understand that volunteer behaviour and actions reflect on the University. Volunteers will demonstrate passion and commitment to the
University of Waterloo and refrain from public criticism of fellow volunteers, classmates, staff or the University.
- Sustain the ongoing partnership between your Environment Advancement contact, the University and its volunteers.
- Contribute to a welcoming and safe environment by demonstrating respect and fair treatment without regard to gender, place of origin, sexual orientation, age, religion, political belief, race, physical or mental ability, or economic status and refraining from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language.
BENEFITS & OPPORTUNITIES
Class Champions from other faculties have listed the following among the benefits of their job:
- Reconnecting with former classmates, including those who are not able to attend in person
- Representing the Faculty of Environment and its alumni
- Being reminded of special stories and fond memories from their time at Waterloo
- Recognition at the reunion dinner